Marquette Warrior: Students For Academic Freedom at Marquette?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Students For Academic Freedom at Marquette?

From a press release from the already formed, but not yet officially recognized, Marquette chapter of Students for Academic Freedom.
“Students for Academic Freedom” to launch soon;
Constitution awaiting OSD approval

A petition signed by more than 25 Marquette students seeking to launch a new student organization called “Students for Academic Freedom” and the organization’s constitution is awaiting approval from the Office of Student Development. Students for Academic Freedom aims to:
  • Promote intellectual diversity on campus
  • Defend the right of students so they will be treated with respect by faculty and administrators regardless of their political or religious beliefs
  • Encourage fairness, civility and inclusion in student affairs
  • Secure the adoption of an “Academic Bill of Rights” as official university policy
“Marquette students need this group to secure greater representation of under-represented ideas on campus,” Charles Rickert, senior in the College of Business Administration and founder of Students for Academic said. “We need to make all of campus a free-speech zone if we are serious about becoming a marketplace of ideas.”

The Marquette organization would join more than 150 other Students for Academic Freedom organizations across the nation.

“I look forward to working with faculty, administrators and MUSG to bring positive change and intellectual diversity to Marquette,” Rickert said.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Marquette administrators react to this.

No matter how attractive the mission of the organization sounds, the truth is that not everybody wants to make “all of campus a free-speech zone.”

And not everybody wants “intellectual diversity on campus.” A lot of people want lockstep political correctness.

Marquette administrators have to know that they are likely to get flack from this group when the go along with demands that certain kinds of speech should be shut up, as happened recently in the Philosophy Department.

But given that Marquette recently approved, in a very short time, a campus chapter of FAIR Wisconsin (a pro-gay marriage group that flatly opposes Church teaching), it will be extremely embarrassing to refuse to recognize Students For Academic Freedom.


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